By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
As the Central Bank moves toward creating a digital currency, one local businessman has suggested it could be backed with The Bahamas' natural resources to further increase its value.
Wayne Johnson told Tribune Business: "Taking the Bahamian dollar digital is a good thing, but can the Bahamian digital dollar be traded internationally and be used as a medium of exchange internationally? That is the only way you could be able to increase its value."
Earlier this month, the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) announced it was searching for a qualified company to produce technology that would be able to house a Central Bank-issued digital currency system. The currency could be piloted in the Family Islands in less than three years, while offering security and versatility, and become a currency "superior to cash".
The regulator's Expression of Interest (EOI) said parties interested in responding should submit a white paper outlining experience and resources relevant to supporting The Bahamas' digital currency initiative no later than September 15, 2018.
It added that a digital version of the Bahamian dollar will still require legal and regulatory reforms "to ensure full inter-operability among existing and new channels for the provision of payment services; standards to safeguard consumer protection and personal data sovereignty; and standards for non-discriminatory access to electronic money on terms that are no less favourable than for cash".
"What we should be doing with the digital dollar is backing it with our natural resources, the aragonite, the salt etc," said Mr Johnson. "We should peg the digital dollar to assets we have in the ground.
"We should not just come up with a digital currency because it's hot and popular in the marketplace, but tie the dollar to hard assets to help it increase in value. That would be a major benefit if we could do that."